Timeline 2007 – Present: The Guengerich Era
325 AD–1818: The Roots of Our Liberal Faith
1838–1860: The Bellows Era, Part 1: Gaining Prominence
1861–1882: The Bellows Era, Part 2: All Souls and the Civil War
1883–1919: Safely Onward
1920–1945: Changes for Women, All Souls and the World
1946–1977: The Kring Era
1978–2006: The Church Era
2007–Present: The Guengerich Era
2007 – Rev. Church stepped down as Senior Minister, due to his illness, and took the title of Minister of Public Theology. Rev. Galen Guengerich then became the tenth Senior Minister of All Souls.
2007 – Rev. David Robb became Assistant Minister for Adult Education and Scholar in Residence at All Souls. In addition to his work at All Souls, Rev. Robb is also a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor. He graduated from Yale (B.A., English Literature, 1962), and Union Theological Seminary, (M.Div., Theology. 1965, and S.T.M., Psychiatry and Religion, 1981). In addition he earned a Certificate for the practice of Psychotherapy from the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute in New York City after completing a three-year residency program from 1986-1989. Rev. Robb was ordained in 1965 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. where he served as an Associate Minister for three years before taking a position as a Program Director with the Council of Churches of Greater Washington D.C. for six years. While in Washington he also taught theology at Georgetown University. From 1973-1987, Rev. Robb served as chaplain at Connecticut College before leaving in order to complete training as a psychotherapist. At All Souls, he plans and implements the adult education programs of the congregation.
2009 – Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons became Interim Associate Minister. Rev. Levy-Lyons grew up in Tenafly, NJ, and holds a B.A. in Music from Brown University and an M.Div. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Before entering the ministry, she started a web design business and worked as an account manager in online advertising. She also pursued a career writing and performing music. She served at All Souls for three years, until accepting the call to be the Senior Minister at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights in 2012. She brings to her ministry a passion for social and environmental justice and a belief in the power of liberal religion to transform our world.
2009 – The Heart & Soul Fund created the Forrest Church Award for Humanitarian Service. The first presentation of the award was made to President Bill Clinton by Rev. Church at the Heart & Soul Auction, held at Christie’s. Other recipients of the award include:
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York
Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of the international health and social justice organization Partners In Health
Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross
Ken Burns, filmmaker
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winners
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, co-founders of Black Lives Matter.
2009 – The death of Rev. Forrest Church on September 24th.
2010 - Lissa Gundlach became Director of Religious Education. After credentialing and ordination at All Souls in 2011, she became Assistant Minister. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist from First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts, Rev. Gundlach received her BA in religious studies from Vassar College and her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary. In addition to the worship arts, her ministry at All Souls included pastoral care and counseling, and spiritual development including small group ministries and social justice. Rev. Gundlach was invited by the search committee of Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, California to serve as their congregation’s next Senior Minister, and she left All Souls for Pasadena in 2015.
2011 – Rev. Guengerich launched “A Common Meditation for All Souls” with a sermon titled, “The Practice of Faith”. The Common Meditation is a daily spiritual practice to help spark the moral imagination and set our moral compass as individuals. It also establishes a common spiritual conversation to further unite us as a community of faith. Over 5,000 people receive the meditations each day, and the number of recipients continues to grow.
2014 - Margot Adler (1946–2014), broadcaster, reporter and member of All Souls for 22 years, died aged 68. Adler was a reporter and social critic, and worked for National Public Radio from 1979 until her death from cancer. As a general assignment reporter, she worked on a great many pieces dealing with subjects as diverse as the death penalty, the right to die movement, the response to the war in Kosovo, computer gaming, the drug ecstasy, geek culture, children and technology. Her coverage of current events on public radio was always among the most dramatic and revealing of any national coverage. She was a grand-daughter of Alfred Adler, the noted Austrian Jewish psychotherapist and collaborator with Sigmund Freud. Ms. Adler was a leading figure in American paganism, and as a Wiccan priestess, she was on the Board of Trustees of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans for 10 years.
2014 – Misa Iwama served as the Interim Music Director for one year. Her concert featuring female composers “Women of Note” also was accompanied by a lecture for the Women’s Alliance about composer Clara Schumann.
2014 – After Wally Klauss retired as Music Director, All Souls hired Renée Anne Louprette as organist. Ms. Louprette left All Souls in 2015 to become University Organist and Coordinator of the Organ Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
2015 – Eileen Macholl became the Executive Director. Before she came to All Souls, Ms. Macholl was the CFO at Auburn Theological Seminary, a multi-faith leadership training institute, and prior to that she served as the Director of Finance and Administration at the World Music Institute and as the Associate Director of Summer Programs and Special Events at Barnard College. She succeeded Susan Lambiase, and Susan’s predecessor, Annie Gorycki, who was the Church Administrator for many years.
2015 – Dr. Alejandro Hernandez–Valdez became Director of Music of All Souls and Artistic Director of Musica Viva NY and Director of Music. In Washington, DC, he had co-founded the New Orchestra of Washington and was Artistic Director of the Victoria Bach Festival. He is featured in El mundo en las manos/Creadores mexicanos en el extranjero (The World in Their Hands/Creative Mexicans Abroad), a book by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs honoring Mexican nationals who are leading figures in diverse artistic fields. He is the recipient of a 2016 Shenandoah Conservatory Alumni of Excellence Award for his exemplary contribution to his profession, national level of prominence, and exceptional integrity.
2015 – Trent Johnson became Assistant Director of Music and Organist. Mr. Johnson is a composer, organist, pianist and conductor, who also directs the Oratorio Singers of Westfield, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and Juilliard School, NYC. He is an organist at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, were he plays the "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ for the Christmas Spectacular Show.
2016 – Thanks to the work of Archivist Lorraine Allen, the All Souls Archives were moved to the UU Seminary in Chicago, Meadville Lombard. More than 150 boxes of fragile and significant documents from 1819 onward were transported, scanned and organized. The collection honors Lorraine Allen, our former Church Archivist, who spent many hours of skilled volunteer labor putting the papers in order before they were sent to Meadville Lombard. Meadville Archivist John Leeker described the All Souls collection as “the most impressive and best organized” he had seen from a congregation. They are available online at tinyurl.com/allsoulsnyc-archives and include the minutes of the All Souls Board of Trustees meetings from 1819 through 1970; Annual Meeting minutes from 1922 to 1990; editions of the Quarterly Review from 1985 to 2011; copies of the Monthly Bulletin from 2010 to 2014; and a variety of programs, pamphlets, flyers and correspondence. Many historical artifacts, books and artworks remain at All Souls, and are under the care of the Historical Society’s Archives Committee.
2016 – Rev. Tracy Sprowls became the Assistant Minister for Lifespan Faith Formation. Before coming to All Souls, she was the minister of the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ (2009-2016) and the Religious Education Minister at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, NJ (2005-2009). Before that, she served as Associate Minister for the Community Church of New York from 2003 until 2005. Rev. Sprowls also serves on the board of the Sienna Project, whose mission is to build schools in the rural Mayan villages of Guatemala. She and her son helped build one such school in February, 2009.
2016 – Pamela Patton became Director of Pastoral Ministries. A member of All Souls since 1995, Ms. Patton is now responsible for coordinating all pastoral matters at All Souls, leading bereavement groups, caregivers groups, and overseeing the Lay Pastoral Associates team. She is also an M.Div candidate at Union Theological Seminary and studies Tibetan Buddhism. Prior to starting her career in ministry, Ms. Patton worked in technology for 15 years.
2017 – The All Souls Capital Campaign was launched with a kick-off weekend in March. It had long been recognized that the All Souls sanctuary and other parts of the building were in dire need of restoration, having been built in just six months in 1932. All Souls member Franklin (“Fritz”) Reuter, a noted architect and facilities planner, volunteered to help assess the current needs and oversee the project. He recruited three fellow architects from the congregation: Virginia Kindred, founder of an architectural design firm, Paul Freitag, director of a housing redevelopment federation and Deborah Taylor, an expert in “green” construction who formerly worked with the New York City building department, to join him and Eileen Macholl on the Building Advisory Task Force, to help coordinate the plans. By 2019, the campaign had reached nearly $12 million in gifts and pledges—enough to cover the most urgent of the renovations. The sanctuary was closed and construction began in April, 2019.
2017 – The 40th Anniversary of Musica Viva NY was celebrated. It was founded in 1977 as the All Souls Concert Series under the baton of Maestro Walter Klauss, and it became Musica Viva of New York in its ninth Season. Maestro Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez continues the magnificent tradition of fine music.
2017 - The Bellows Lecture was given by Janet Gardner, the writer, producer and director of award-winning documentaries. The talk followed a screening of her film Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story. Representatives of Cooper Union attended, honoring their founder and our esteemed nineteenth century member.
2017 – Rev. Audette Fulbright was called as Associate Minister. A graduate of the Starr King School for the Ministry, and a member of the Graduate Theological Union at UC Berkeley in CA, Rev. Fulbright has been serving UU congregations since 1998. She has served in both community and parish ministry settings in North Carolina, Virginia, and in the West, and has worked actively in anti-racist, anti-oppression movements both within Unitarian Universalism and beyond. She has served in prison ministries, in hospital chaplaincy, and as a consultant to ministers and congregations through district and regional work. She currently serves as a member of the Executive Team of the Ministerial Leadership Network, a program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
2018 – The Immigration Justice Group was formed to promote greater understanding of immigration issues past and present and their intersection with social justice as well as Unitarian Universalist principles. The group has shown films about refugees and asylees and offered an Adult Education series about the history of immigration in the U.S. from the Mayflower forward. The group has also worked with children and families in the Religious Education program; RE students sold hot chocolate and cookies to aid water projects in Sudan and wrote postcards to Congress supporting the “Dreamers’ Act.”
2018 – Rev. Audette helped to revive the spirit of Interweave under a new name, the PRIDE Team. All Souls had embraced and advocated for gay people since before the AIDS crisis, and a group called Interweave continued to promote acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, starting in the 1990s. Its activism had slowed, however, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court officially legalized gay marriage in 2015 and sexual differences rapidly become more widely accepted. The PRIDE Team continued the work of being a deeply LGBTQIA (for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual or allied) friendly community.
2018 – The 25th anniversary of the All Souls ministry of Galen Guengerich was celebrated.
2018 – The World Religions Stained Glass Lightbox by All Souls minister Rev. Walter Kring was restored. It measures approximately 2 ft. by 3 ft., and was used as an altarpiece when Rev. Kring first created it in 1977.
2018 – The historic Channing Lectern was acquired from the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield.
2018 – The Bicentennial art auctions and other celebrations began. Melinda Beck organized three art auctions to raise funds for the bicentennial celebrations, the third of which featured Laura Pedersen’s entertaining Bellow’s lecture, “Does God Have a Woman Problem?” Artist Barbara Hosein presented her artwork representing the people who signed the membership books over our history. Artists Pamela Healey and Mitchel Gray completed their artwork for the bicentennial, “Twelve Ministers and 200 Years of History.”
2019 – The 200th Annual Meeting of the Society was held on February 3 with the traditional church business meeting and election of officers. The Channing Lectern was unveiled, Miles Chapin and Marilynn Scott Murphy performed a skit on the history of All Souls Church, and the meeting was followed by a festive coffee hour.
2019 – “Standing Before Us: The Indomitable Women of All Souls,” a series of lectures, was given by Laurie Carter Noble and Peggy Montgomery. The four lectures were:
April 28 - Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Rev. William Ellery Channing and the Beginning of All Souls;
May 5 - Louisa Lee Schuyler and the Rev. Henry Bellows: A Remarkable Friendship;
May 12 - Three Recent Leaders Dedicated to Moving All Souls Forward:, Marietta Moskin, Phoebe Hoss, and Mary-Ella Holst;
May 19 - Stand By This Faith: The Legacy of Olympia Brown and the Women Ministers at All Souls.
2019 – The Bicentennial Committee published three books. Rev. Walter Kring’s book, Safely Onward was reprinted, Mary-Ella Holst’s book, The Senior Ministers of All Souls was published, and All Souls at 200, a 400-page, full-color, coffee-table-style book, was written and published. Copies of All Souls at 200 are available at the church (while supplies last, $35.00), or can be ordered on Amazon (print-on-demand, $60.00).
2019 – Worship Services moved downstairs to Reidy Hall as major renovation work began on the sanctuary.
2019 – Cecily Millen began work in October as All Souls’ Director of Growth.
2019 – Bicentennial Weekend was November 15-17. The All Souls Bicentennial week kicked off on November 13 with a lecture at The New York Society Library by Dr. Linn Cary Mehta. She spoke about Catherine Sedgwick and Herman Melville, both of whom were members of both All Souls and the New York Society Library.
On November 15, the actual 200th anniversary of our congregation, the Bicentennial Gala took place. Congregants enjoyed catered dinners in 17 homes, and then all converged at Reidy Hall for desserts and dancing. The ticket price, $200, provided funding for the entire weekend of activities, and also made a donation to the capital campaign. Additional funds were raised through two auctions and the sale of mementos.
Saturday, November 16 was Family Day with a variety of activities, including a dramatic reading of “We Are …” by Larry Reina.
On Anniversary Sunday, November 17, the sermon was given by the President of the UUA, Susan Frederick Gray. Members celebrating 25 and more years of membership were honored. Bill Bechman was commended for his exceptional work on the Bicentennial Steering Committee. A skit, “Heroic Women,” was narrated by Miles Chapin and Marilynn Scott Murphy with the Community Choir. Laura Pedersen wrote and narrated “William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878): First Citizen” with David Rockefeller Jr. playing the roles of Bryant, Abraham Lincoln and Henry Whitney Bellows.
Throughout the weekend, there was bidding on the Bicentennial Boutique with commemorative items and artwork, with a silent auction featuring unique experiences and opportunities from All Souls members and friends.
For more information about the Bicentennial Weekend, see the Bicentennial Journal (download - PDF), which was published as the keepsake souvenir of the Bicentennial Weekend, and includes an array of congratulations and dedicatory messages from individuals and organizations helping us to celebrate our Bicentennial.
2019 – On November 22, the eminent composer Joan Tower, whose great grandfather was our second minister, Henry Whitney Bellows, gave the annual Bellows Lecture. Her talk took the form of a conversation between her and Peggy Kampmeier, professor of music at Manhattan School of Music and member of All Souls about her inspirations and family memories. Dr. Tower was commissioned to write a major composition for All Souls, to be performed at the re-opening of the sanctuary after completion of the renovations.
2019 – Christmas Eve Services were held at Temple Shaaray Tefila, E. 79th and 2nd Avenue, due to continuing construction of our sanctuary.
2019 – Eileen Macholl retired as Executive Director. Nadira Shiwram-Singh began work as the Director of Finance and Administration.